A major EU-funded project led by National University of Ireland, Galway has united with nine other EU H2020 projects to form the PREPARE Cluster (PREparedness and resPonse for emergency situAtions in euRopE. The two-year Irish-led project, PANDEM-2, aims to prepare Europe for future pandemics through innovations in training and to build capacity between EU member states responding to pandemics on a cross-border basis.The project has been awarded almost €10m in funding and is one of many in the PREPARE cluster that has recently received this support from the European Commission to work on different aspects of crisis management and response. PANDEM-2 will look specifically at developing a suite of novel concepts, services and IT systems to improve how the EU prepares for and responds to future pandemics.
With combined funding of €72 million, each project in PREPARE has its own distinct aims and challenges, however, they all work towards one shared goal: to ensure better preparedness for future crises. While Ireland and Europe have responded robustly to the current pandemic, there is room for improvement in the sharing of information across borders and in adopting common and consistent policies. The PREPARE cluster will aim to strengthen Europe’s response to the ongoing pandemic and potential future crises by offering mutual support and developing research synergies.
In recent years, there have been increasing instances of cross-border crises, including climate change, terrorism, international trade disputes and global health threats. These emergency situations require large-scale planning for preparedness and response for countries to be able to cope with unforeseen challenges. Protecting the health and security of citizens across Ireland and the EU in the face of these threats requires member states and agencies to share information and to collaborate on joint policies and approaches. It is for this reason that each of the ten projects is tackling challenges specifically looking at the preparedness and response phases of crisis management.
Prof. Máire Connolly of NUI Galway and Coordinator of the PANDEM-2 Project said:
“We are delighted to be a part of the PREPARE cluster and working with so many excellent projects supported by the EU. COVID-19 has had a devastating economic, social and health impact on countries worldwide and we must adopt a collective approach in our response strategy to future crises. We look forward to will exploring synergies, research opportunities and delivering joint activities to to ensure Europe is better prepared for the next pandemic.”
In working together, PREPARE will strive for stronger results and greater impact for crisis management. PANDEM-2, together with CO-VERSATILE, COVID-X, COVINFORM, EUR3KA, NO FEAR, PERISCOPE, PHIRI, STAMINA and STRATEGY will strengthen the response to the ongoing crisis and aim to be better prepared for future crises.